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China's growing influence in Europe's backyard

Photo: Construction of a bridge over the Morača Valley, Montenegro, as part of the Bar-Boljare highway - Wikimedia Commons China has been pushing for some time to become the new global superpower. The Belt and Road Inititave been part of this expansion drive. China is keen to expand its global footprint and [...]

The 16th edition of the social democratic 'Summer Camp' in northern Macedonia

In northern Macedonia, Foundation Max van der Stoel is working with the Progress Institute for Social Democracy, an institute affiliated to the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM). As Macedonia has resumed its journey towards democracy and EU accession after a parliamentary crisis in 2017, it is important that international partners continue their support. Partly [...]

Macedonian ruling coalition favourite to win presidential election amidst ellegularities

On 13 April Macedonia will go to the polls to elect a new president. The top two contenders will compete against each other in a second round on 27 April. Four candidates are in the race to become Macedonia's largely symbolic Head of State. On 27 April, Macedonian's will also vote for parliament in the early general elections. The general elections are considered more important as they will determine who will become the most powerful person in the country, the Prime Minister.

North Macedonia catching the EU train

On the 6th of March Foundation Max van der Stoel joined a roundtable discussion at the FES EU Office in Brussels: North Macedonia and Greece after the Prespa Agreement. This Agreement settled the name dispute between Greece and (now) North Macedonia and paved the way for Euro-Atlantic integration. The discussion covered both the lessons that could be learned from this process as well as expectations for the relations between North Macedonia and Greece after signing the Agreement.

Progressive government in northern Macedonia works on human rights

After a peaceful revolution, Prime Minister Zaev's progressive government has made great strides in a short time: improved relations with neighbouring countries, signed a historic agreement with Greece and made strides in Euro-Atlantic integration. The country is also breaking with illiberal trends in neighbouring countries in the field of human rights and equality. For instance, the rights of LGBT people are on the agenda of a political party in Macedonia for the first time.

Public meeting: 'Young Generations for the New Western Balkans: Beyond Emigration'

Recent research shows that between 25,000 - 40,000 people are annually leaving each of the Western Balkans countries. Not only young people, but increasingly the middle class as well. A group of young scientist from the region has engaged in a project 'New Horizons for the Young Generations in the Balkans' in order to discuss their visions how to overcome old- fashioned politics and nationalisms and the lack of perspective for younger generations. They will sketch alternative horizons and the look for alternatives for South-Eastern Europe's way beyond emigration. The Hague will be the first place in Europe after Vienna where the results of the mentioned initiative will be presented to the public.

Future at stake in historic referendum Macedonia

This article previously appeared in the Volkskrant

The referendum next Sunday is a historic moment for Macedonia itself but a positive outcome also offers hope for democratic forces in south-eastern and eastern Europe, which are increasingly weighed down by authoritarian regimes, argues Danijel Tadic, south-eastern Europe expert at the Max van der Stoel Foundation.

Western Balkans expectations on eve of European summit

Will we ever be part of the European project? That is the question all Western Balkan leaders are asking as they prepare for the big summit. After French President Macron's statement, no enlargement until the EU itself puts its house in order, last month in Strasbourg, their dreams shattered.

EU's New Enlargement Strategy: Change of Tone

On the 6th of February the European Commission presented its long awaited enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans. Since the State of the Union of European Commission President J.C. Juncker last year, there was a growing momentum for a clearer prospect for accession of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania to the Union.